Towards a pharmacophore for amyloid. Academic Article uri icon


  • Diagnosing and treating Alzheimer's and other diseases associated with amyloid fibers remains a great challenge despite intensive research. To aid in this effort, we present atomic structures of fiber-forming segments of proteins involved in Alzheimer's disease in complex with small molecule binders, determined by X-ray microcrystallography. The fiber-like complexes consist of pairs of -sheets, with small molecules binding between the sheets, roughly parallel to the fiber axis. The structures suggest that apolar molecules drift along the fiber, consistent with the observation of nonspecific binding to a variety of amyloid proteins. In contrast, negatively charged orange-G binds specifically to lysine side chains of adjacent sheets. These structures provide molecular frameworks for the design of diagnostics and drugs for protein aggregation diseases.

published proceedings

  • PLoS Biol

altmetric score

  • 2.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Landau, M., Sawaya, M. R., Faull, K. F., Laganowsky, A., Jiang, L., Sievers, S. A., ... Eisenberg, D.

citation count

  • 167

complete list of authors

  • Landau, Meytal||Sawaya, Michael R||Faull, Kym F||Laganowsky, Arthur||Jiang, Lin||Sievers, Stuart A||Liu, Jie||Barrio, Jorge R||Eisenberg, David

editor list (cited editors)

  • Weissman, J. S.

publication date

  • June 2011